6-7-8th Grade Handbook for Mrs. Shepp’s Classes

          Mrs. Shepp’s Seventh Grade

            Classroom Handbook

                      2018-19

***Includes:

  • Introduction
  • Classroom Expectations
  • Schedule
  • Snack/Time/lunch/Birthdays
  • Communication
  • Homework and Organization
  • Curriculum

Welcome!

7th grade is wonderful year filled with growth and exciting new learning experiences for your child. I am grateful for this opportunity to work with your child. 

Classroom Expectations

Students can achieve at their highest level in a positive environment where they feel safe, and can enjoy learning while challenging behaviors to be positive for all. This type of environment can be achieved when there are firm classroom expectations in place. These are the four behavior expectations required in our classroom at all times:

  • Help Others
  • Set a POSITIVE example
  • Take care of others, the environment, and yourself
  • Support EVERYONE’S best learning 

**These four expectations follow the vision of our SMS School’s SLE’S:

  • SERVE: How Can I help?
  • LEAD: How can I set a positive example?
  • LOVE: How can I show respect for others, the environment, and myself?
  • LEARN: how can I support my best learning(academically, socially and spiritually)?

**I strongly believe that positive reinforcement is the most effective tool in behavioral classroom management. Positive consequences may result:

  • Teacher Praise—Verbally and positive notes sent home via e-mail!!
  • Shepp’s Popcorn/Treat Homework Party: After 10 days of ALL participants in a class turning their homework in in time, Mrs. Shepp will provide that class with a Popcorn/Treat Party of their choice the next day.
  • Mrs. Shepp’s “S” Bucks—can be earned for good academics and behavior! Ms. Shepp will give out S-Bucks, which can be redeemed for healthy snacks, free time, and other fun prizes.
  • SLE Award (at the end of each month)

With that being said, there are also consequences for making negative choices:

  • Verbal Warning
  • 2nd Warning/Student Reflection Sheet & Action Plan w/Mrs. Shepp
  • Parent Contact
  • Conference with Administrator(Principal, Vice Principal, or Inclusion Director 

 

Weekly schedule

  • Please find a copy on the Daily Schedule link on my website.

 Snack Time/Lunch/Recess

  • Please send a healthy snack with your child each day. Your child is also encouraged to bring a water bottle to school that they can refill, and make sure their name is clearly marked on the water bottle. **No pop is allowed at school.
  • Lunch will be from 11:21-11:45, with Recess following from 11:45-12:10. Students have the option to bring a sack lunch from home, or purchase their lunch at school. The options are: hot lunch for the day, a salad, or a bagel lunch.
  • We eat lunch in the school social hall each day with Grades 5-8.

Birthdays

  • We will celebrate your child’s special day in our classroom. If they would like to share treats with the class, please let me know in advance so we can arrange what day/time would be best for them to be shared and celebrated. Please also bring the treats completely prepared and ready to eat, as well as bringing enough in for the whole class. If your child’s birthday falls on a non-school day or during the summer, we can arrange a day throughout the school year to celebrate as well. (Please let me know in advance if possible.)
  • Also, remember, if you are not inviting all of the students in the class, or all boys or all girls to a birthday party, please do not send the invitations to school. Make sure your child also does not discuss their party at school. 

Communication     

  • E-mail is the most efficient way to communicate with me throughout the year to answer any questions, concerns, or to set up an appointment to discuss any information that will help to ensure your child having a successful year in 7th grade.  I will have information and additional resources available on my teacher Website, and will also continue to keep you updated throughout the year to keep you informed.

Power School

  • Power School is the on-line that SMS uses for our grading program grades Pre-k to 8. Parents have access to Power School to check their student’s grades and missing assignments. Students have access as well, having their own access cod and log-on information.  I update Power School regularly each week, so by each Friday, feel free to log-on and check your child’s updated progress.  **Please refer to Power School for updated grades and any missing or incomplete assignments. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding grades and assignments. 

Homework and Organization

  • We will be using a homework planner to help students organize their homework and become more responsible.  Your child is expected to use his/her planner to keep track of upcoming assignments, projects, and tests. The planner should help students plan things out.  Students should also list their extra-curricular activities in the planners to help them see how to allocate their after-school time.  
  • The homework planner does not need to be signed by parents (or myself), but if you feel like this or something else may be helpful for your child in gaining organization skills, I would be happy to help in this area.  Please assist your child at home by helping your child review his/her homework planner each night.  Homework will be assigned as the week unfolds. Homework will be posted in the room and on the teacher’s website to assist parents in checking their child’s planner. Please keep in mind that the expectation for seventh graders is to be actively using their planners, and that the website is really intended for parents, not students.
  • Students in 7th grade will be learning a great deal about organization this year. They will be learning to organize their lockers, binders, and other important items. You can help assist them by helping them keep things organized at home, checking planners, and their binders regularly. It is important to have all papers, etc. remains in their binders, as we may refer to them in the future. ***We will clean binders out periodically throughout the year, subject by subject, as we finish a theme or unit. Thank you for your assistance in this area!

Wondering what a typical night’s homework should look like? 

  • Language Arts- writing assignments & read 20+ minutes
  • Math-Around 20 minutes of a worksheet or workbook sent home. 
  • Religion-practice review 6th Grade prayers 
  • Social Studies/Science—assignments vary

(Below are other activities to do… not necessarily every night)

  • Writing-Encourage your student to practice their creative writing or paragraph writing skills. A great way to do this is to have students write about their artwork or write a letter to a family member.
  • Social Studies-Stay up to date on current events. Subscribe your child to an appropriate magazine or website that includes articles for and about kids! Check out Time News for Kids, Muse or National Geographic Kids. Articles are a great way to get reading practice, and can lead to amazing conversations!
  • Science—Enhance your child’s learning by trying some experiments on the concepts they are studying each week.

Pen-Pals this year for 6th Graders!

We are fortunate this year to have the opportunity to be Pen-Pals with another 6th grade class in our archdiocese. they are students from St. Anne’s in Seattle(former SMS Teacher Mr. T’s class). We look forward to sharing letters, pictures and videos with them throughout the year, and maybe even an end of the year Field trip to meet each other, if all goes well!

6-8 Grade Curriculum

***Language Arts

In grades 6-8, students will continue to build important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. They will read more challenging literature, articles, and other sources of information and continue to grow their vocabulary. Students will also be expected to understand and clearly summarize what they have learned from readings and classroom discussions, referring to specific evidence and details from the text. Students will write regularly and continue to develop their ability to gather, organize, interpret, and present information. 

 ***We will be continue to use our STAR Assessment Program to help us, as a staff, make decisions regarding reading.

We will be reading selections from the Holt Reading series, hardbound book, which includes Units of study that includes: short stories, biographies, autobiographies, historical non-fiction and fiction, poems, drama, folk tales, fantasy, and subject based articles.  **Students are also expected to read for 20 min. at home each day, and they will be held accountable for their reading.

A new part to reading this year will include following a point system through the Accelerator Reading Program (AR). The students will choose books of their own to read, and each book is given points based on the reading level. When the student has finished the text, they will take a short quiz through the AR Program. The points needed for each student will vary depending on a goal set based on their personal reading needs.  

  • **All books read at home and in class will also count towards AR points, once your child finishes the book and passes the AR test for that particular book.   **15 AR points will be required each new trimester, including the three class novels we will read. (**See below)
  • In addition, your child will have the opportunity to choose an individual book they have read for that trimester, and present it as a Book Talk Visual Project to the class. These Book Talks and Visual Project will be due towards the end of each trimester, and the dates will be known way in advance, so the students will have plenty of time to prepare.  **The format for the Book Talk will be given out in class at the beginning of each new trimester, as well as an idea handout for the Visual Project for their chosen book.  **These outlines will also be posted on my website.

We will also read several novels this year as a group, in addition to the novels that each student chooses to read on their own.  The activities we will do in class are part of the study of the group novel, as well as individual book report projects that will be part of your child’s homework assignments. These will vary from month to month, and specific information about the scope, style, and grading of each project will be given with the introduction of each project.

For vocabulary, we will be using the Wordly Wise Online 3000 course, which teaches students to identify the meaning of a word based on the definition, context clues, synonyms, antonyms, and reading passages. The workbook provides multiple ways for students to practice their new vocabulary.  We will be taking tests at the end of each WW lesson.

 For writing, we will be using the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing Program, and a few ideas from the Lucy Calkin’s writing program for the middle level, which also has several units of focus including sentence and paragraph structure, 5-paragraph essays, literary essays, personal narratives, biographies, readers theater, podcasts, research projects, poetry, drama and short stories. The program teaches students how to look at writing creatively, the structure of writing, how to generate ideas on their own, and techniques to edit and revise their work.

****LA LAB 6-7-8

This year, we will continue our new course from last year for all students to focus exclusively on grammar and writing skills. In this Language Arts course, we will weave the concepts covered in the grammar class into our daily writing.

****DIRECTED STUDIES(formerly AKA Electives):  Study Skills—New Program–

Study Skills: This year, we will also begin a new DIRECTED STUDIES course for students to focus exclusively on organizational and management skills, as well as study and testing taking skills. In this  course, we will weave the concepts covered in the class into our daily academic areas.

More Information to Follow!!!

Here’s to a great year of learning…together!!:):):):)